Colon Cleansing: Understanding the Basics
Colon cleansing is a highly relevant topic in today’s world, yet it is perceived differently by different people. Some consider it cleansing the colon, while others think of it as intravenous infusions of medicinal substances. People often have fragmented impressions about this process. Therefore, as a specialist, I want to clarify the fundamental aspects of what cleansing actually entails.
Gastrointestinal Tract and Its Role
First and foremost, it is essential to understand what we are cleansing and why we need to cleanse. In my extensive dermatological practice, every approach to treating skin conditions is considered from the perspective of cleansing the body, its preparation, and the subsequent restoration of the functions of various systems. The primary focus is on the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Essentially, this is the largest organ in the body, divided into various sections, including:
- Small intestine
- Large intestine
- Oral cavity
The role of the gastrointestinal tract is to break down the food content into its components: proteins into amino acids, fats into poly- and monoglycerides, and carbohydrates into monosaccharides. At each stage, these processes occur through fermentation, involving enzymatic systems. Naturally, the liver and the pancreas also play a significant role in these processes.
Oral Cavity and Esophagus
In each section of the gastrointestinal tract, there is a vital and irreplaceable process of digestion. It starts in the oral cavity, where besides chewing, the food content becomes saturated with saliva containing the enzyme amylase, which breaks down carbohydrates in the early stages. Often, when a person swallows partially chewed food, the subsequent digestion process becomes more difficult. Therefore, doctors advise thoroughly chewing food. It is also not recommended to immediately wash down food with water. After the oral cavity and passage through the esophagus, the food enters the stomach.
The stomach’s role is to conduct the initial chemical digestion, which is quite significant. In the stomach, hydrochloric acid is secreted, necessary to chemically process the food lump. Additionally, various enzymes are released in the stomach: pancreatic amylase and pepsin, necessary for breaking down proteins and fats.
How can we influence the quality of this process in our stomach? It is important not to drink water with food, as mentioned earlier. Every time you eat, and the food lump enters the stomach, specific cells determine how much hydrochloric acid needs to be secreted to digest it. But if we drink water, this hydrochloric acid gets diluted, reducing its acidity concentration. As a result, stomach cells produce additional hydrochloric acid to balance the stomach’s pH. This often leads to various forms of gastritis. The development of hypersecretory gastritis is one of the reasons for washing down food with water.
After the food undergoes initial chemical processing in the stomach, it enters the duodenum, which represents a part of the small intestine. However, it stands out due to its importance and impact on both the digestion process and the entire body. In the duodenum, the proper digestive juice is formed.
It has a three-component composition, its effectiveness directly depending on its quality. The first component here is hydrochloric acid, obtained from the stomach. The second component is bile, coming from the liver and the gallbladder. The third component is pancreatic juice from the pancreas, which is rich in enzymes. Enzymes directly participate in creating conditions for chemical reactions.
The Role of Bile
As for bile, it has numerous functions that affect the body:
- Participates in digesting fats
- Creates an alkaline environment
- Activates digestive enzymes
- Stimulates intestinal motility
- Eliminates toxins from the body
Another crucial function of bile is its antibacterial effect. It destroys bacteria entering the GI tract with food. Therefore, much depends on the quality of bile.
If the duodenum contains the food lump directly, bile enters directly from the liver. However, if the duodenum is empty, bile enters the gallbladder. The gallbladder acts as a reservoir and a concentrate of bile, the quality of which affects the overall functioning of the intestine.
There is a condition called biliary dyskinesia, which involves the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. This happens because the gallbladder does not contract properly, leading to increased bile concentration and ultimately the formation of cholesterol stones. To avoid this, it is necessary to:
- Follow a proper diet
- Maintain sufficient physical activity
- Avoid intoxication of the body
When bile secretion, digestive juice, and hydrochloric acid secretion are properly regulated, we obtain a good recipe for digestive juice.
From the duodenum, the food lump moves on to the sections of the small intestine, where fermentation, absorption of water, minerals, and vitamins take place. The main task of the small intestine is to extract as many nutrients as possible from this food lump.
The distinctive feature of the small intestine is its villi-covered walls. This is because enzymes are released here, and active absorption occurs in this area. The small intestine plays a significant role in the body’s metabolism. Further digestion of food occurs here, after which the food content enters the large intestine.
The large intestine is perhaps one of the least studied sections of the entire gastrointestinal tract because it is very complex. In the large intestine, water is absorbed, and the food content is transformed into fecal masses. The large intestine also has additional functions. Firstly, besides the final absorption of all metabolites (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) in the form of amino acids, monosaccharides, etc., the large intestine also has a hormonal function. Various hormones are released here that regulate the entire digestive system and partially the body.
It is important to understand that the large intestine contains bacterial flora. It also exists in the small intestine, but in the large intestine, its mass can reach 2-2.5 kg. This is a significant volume of bacteria participating in the digestion process. Our body has evolved to work with these bacteria. They are crucial for metabolism and play a role in the final breakdown of proteins into amino acids – this is their enzymatic function.
In addition, the bacteria in the large intestine produce several hormones that participate in overall metabolism. A lack of these bacteria can cause imbalances in the body as a whole. Another essential function of these bacteria is their involvement in the immune response. They produce various T-lymphocytes, interferons, immunoglobulins. The quality of the large intestine flora often influences various autoimmune diseases.
Therefore, when a patient complains about various skin diseases, an experienced dermatologist pays close attention to the condition of the intestines. A knowledgeable doctor always includes medications in the treatment regimen that improve and restore the overall functioning of the intestine. The intestine is not just a sterile tube; it is a whole ecosystem. This applies to both the large and small intestine, stomach, and even the oral cavity.
What Affects the Functioning of the Intestines?
The functioning of the intestines largely depends on the quality of the food we consume. Nowadays, we have a lot of high-carbohydrate food rich in sugars, white flour, and so on. All these carbohydrates and sugars, when consumed excessively, create an acidic environment in the body. After the duodenum, the food lump should already be alkaline. However, when we consume a lot of sugar and carbohydrate-rich food, the food lump becomes acidic, disrupting the digestive system’s function at this stage.
The bacteria in the large intestine cannot thrive in an acidic environment, while putrefactive bacteria develop well in it. This disrupts the antibacterial function. When people talk about dysbiosis, it refers to disorders in the large intestine. At the moment when a significant number of putrefactive bacteria, which were not destroyed at the initial stage, enter the large intestine and start multiplying, they suppress the work of good, beneficial bacteria.
The conditionally pathogenic flora also includes Escherichia coli, which many have heard of. It is harmless and, moreover, plays a positive role in the digestion process. However, when the large intestine contains a large number of putrefactive bacteria, Escherichia coli becomes pathogenic and begins to harm the body.
How to Properly Treat Skin Diseases?
Microbiota is the correct balance of bacteria that directly affects the body as a whole. Various purulent diseases, autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne arise from imbalances in this microbiota. A good treating physician in such cases tries not to prescribe antibiotics because antibiotics have a double-edged effect. They destroy some bacteria but also eliminate other necessary bacteria. The right approach here would be cleansing treatment, including:
- First and foremost during cleansing, it’s essential to remember that the food lump is always alkaline. It is crucial to consume alkaline microelements – this is very important.
- It is also necessary to exclude food rich in carbohydrates from the diet because they create an acidic environment.
- Maintaining proper hydration is important.
The Importance of Water and Food Quality
Good, wholesome water should be flowing, settled, or filtered. It can be heated to about 80 degrees Celsius, not boiling. Water plays a crucial role in cleansing the intestines. It acts as a solvent, helping the body eliminate various fecal stones, toxins, and so on.
In addition to participating in the body’s overall metabolism, water is absorbed into the bloodstream and contributes to the thinning of intercellular fluid. When it comes to food quality, it should be rich in fiber. This includes various cereals made from hard varieties, legumes, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Taking probiotics and prebiotics is important during intestinal cleansing. All probiotics are essentially beneficial bacteria and food for these bacteria. Their task is to balance the correct flora in the large intestine.
Usually, restoring the flora takes about six months, so it is essential to be patient and have a responsible approach to following the recommendations of the treating physician. As a result of correcting the intestinal microflora, a whole range of skin diseases usually disappears.
Shortcomings of Antiparasitic Therapy
There is a prevailing opinion these days that various helminths, simple staphylococci, and streptococci need to be destroyed. Personally, I believe that every time we introduce chemical preparations into the body that destroy one bacterium, a whole range of good, useful microorganisms might perish alongside it.
When we undergo antiprotozoal therapy, i.e., take drugs that destroy protozoa and helminths, we harm our body in the process. In the best case, the helminth is paralyzed and exits the intestine naturally. In the worst case, it dies inside the intestinal lumen and releases toxins, leading to intoxication.
If an antiparasitic program is to be implemented, it should be done in multiple stages. Helminths have the ability to form cysts – these are eggs that are resistant to the external environment. Often, when doctors start such therapy, people become exhausted by it. This therapy is quite toxic and physiologically challenging for the body.
The most appropriate approach in this case is to normalize the flora of the large and small intestines. Why is this so important? Because this flora produces its own components (T-lymphocytes, interferons, immunoglobulins) that destroy not only helminths but also Giardia and so on. As a preventive medicine doctor, I actively use these methods in the treatment of my patients with dermatological issues at the “Healer” medical center in Makhachkala.
About the Biological Rhythm
In addition to everything, adhering to the rhythm of biological clocks is crucial for the functioning and cleansing of the intestines. It’s important to know that the intestines work during the night when we are asleep. The intestines undergo self-cleansing during the night.
If you go to bed at 2 AM, it means your intestines haven’t begun its function until 2 AM. If you go to bed at 11 PM and wake up at 6 AM, everything is fine – you allowed your intestines to work properly and expel the lump in the form of fecal masses. But if you go to bed late or wake up very late, the biological rhythm is disrupted.
How to Achieve Regular Morning Bowel Movements?
It is very beneficial for the body to always have a morning bowel movement. During the night, the food lump passes through all sections of the intestines, reaching the sigmoid and rectum, the end sections of the large intestine. The body is ready to expel all of this. And you need to do it in the morning.
Otherwise, during the day, you will carry these toxic products, and all of it will be absorbed in the large intestine. It’s no coincidence that cleansing enemas are administered by introducing substances into the large intestine because active absorption occurs in the rectum and sigmoid colon.
Therefore, try to have a bowel movement in the morning after waking up. How can you achieve this? Start your day with a glass of warm water and go about your morning routine. This is a signal for your intestines that it’s time to wake up. It’s important to drink warm water; it activates enzymatic function, while cold water only blocks this process.
Additionally, grated carrot salad has a very good effect. Grate carrots (you can season them with oil or sugar according to taste) and eat them on an empty stomach. This also initiates the digestive process. But if this doesn’t help, go for a morning walk. It improves intestinal peristalsis, and you will achieve a morning bowel movement.
In summary, it all depends on you; you don’t need any medicines or complex methods. Everything is straightforward. By following these simple rules, your intestines will be cleansed of toxins. It’s important to understand that the large intestine has special folds, like pockets, where fecal stones are often deposited. This happens when a person experiences constipation and doesn’t regularly use the toilet, meaning the intestines are not cleansed regularly. In this case, fecal stones form, becoming denser, and it becomes very difficult to expel them.
The Main Components of Cleansing
Water, the right approach to probiotics, proper nutrition, and a physically active lifestyle – all these are important components that contribute to cleansing. Therefore, colon cleansing is an extremely important matter.
Dermatologists often hold the view that the skin is like a turned-out intestine. Imagine everything on your skin – it’s all in your intestines. If there are pimples on your skin, the same is happening in your intestines. That’s why the gastrointestinal tract requires a serious and proper approach.
The Role of Polyunsaturated Fats for the Body
When it comes to colon cleansing, the function of the liver also matters. We know that the liver is essential for various functions, but its main functions are detoxification and bile production. How can we support our liver? It can unequivocally be said that Omega-3 polyunsaturated complexes play a crucial role.
The right approach to omega-3 fatty acids is necessary. Unfortunately, there are different types. Each pharmaceutical company deems it necessary to produce their own Omega-3 supplements. They can come from flaxseeds or in the form of fish oil. Omega-3 in its highest quality should be made from fish, especially fish from cold seas, which are very rich in these polyunsaturated fatty acids.
And don’t confuse fish oil with fish fat. Fish oil – that’s the unpleasant substance we were forced to take in our childhood. It has some effectiveness, but it’s quite toxic because it contains various buffering elements and unnecessary acids, which are better avoided. Fish fat, on the other hand, is the extract obtained by cold pressing, typically from the back of fish living in cold seas.
Omega-3 is a powerful hepatoprotector; it effectively restores liver cells. Additionally, polyunsaturated fats are excellent for restoring both the nervous and endocrine systems. Omega-3 also improves the quality of bile. Highly concentrated bile leads to the formation of gallstones. When you consume Omega-3, bile becomes more liquid and passes through the bile ducts much more easily.
I believe I have convinced you that the cleansing process is complicated. It’s something that you need to engage with not for just one, two, or three days. It’s a conscious choice of each individual and significant self-work. Health is the prerogative of every person. As doctors, we will help you, explain, inform, and guide you in the right direction. However, 90% of all the work and its results depend on you, on how well you follow the doctors’ recommendations.
Colon Cleansing Process
It is believed that cleansing the colon aids in removing toxins, restoring digestion, and improving overall quality of life. In fact, the practice of using water for colon irrigation dates back to Ancient Egypt around 1500 BC.
Why is colon cleansing necessary? To eliminate accumulated “waste” and normalize bowel movements.
The primary goal of colon cleansing is to assist the gastrointestinal tract in expelling substances that hinder its proper functioning. While this procedure is not suitable for everyone, some individuals can benefit significantly from the removal of waste, bacteria, and toxic materials that linger in the body.
How can you determine if it’s beneficial for you? Keep reading.
Is Colon Cleansing Really Necessary?
The large intestine is home to billions of bacteria, constituting up to 70% of the dry weight of feces. These various beneficial microorganisms not only contribute to stool formation but also play a vital role in absorbing nutrients from food, maintaining pH balance, controlling hunger, and protecting against harmful bacteria. Therefore, a healthy colon influences the well-being of the entire body.
Is colon cleansing truly necessary? Although the body is naturally equipped to eliminate waste, many people experience stool-related issues for various reasons, such as poor diet, allergies, exposure to pesticides affecting the intestines, or inflammation.
Irritable bowel syndrome affects 15-20% of the adult population worldwide, and chronic constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems, affecting approximately 42 million people in the United States alone. These disorders are particularly prevalent with improper nutrition, during pregnancy, among the elderly, individuals recovering from surgery, and those taking medication.
If you do not have regular daily bowel movements, colon cleansing might be beneficial for you. It is widely known that many issues stem from poor colon function. Symptoms like abdominal pain, spasms, chronic fatigue, constipation, sluggishness, headaches, and allergic reactions can result from the accumulation of toxins in the body.
A congested colon can lead to sluggishness, irritability, reduced energy, “brain fog,” and changes in appetite. This is because undigested food remnants and waste create fermentation and the formation of mucus and bacteria in the colon, which can release toxins back into the bloodstream. Irregular bowel movements also pose a risk to nutrient absorption, potentially causing energy deficiencies and other complications.
How Colon Cleansing Works
The large intestine, a crucial part of the human digestive system, is connected to the small intestine on one end and the anus on the other. It is where feces, consisting of bacteria, water, unabsorbed nutrients, unnecessary electrolytes, and digested food, are formed and subsequently expelled.
There are various methods of colon cleansing, including hydrotherapy, enemas, or colonic irrigation. At home, fasting with juices, using saline water for irrigation, or employing regular enemas can aid in colon cleansing. In certain cases, professional intervention might be necessary.
One of the most common reasons for clinical colon cleansing is preparation for surgery or medical procedures (such as colonoscopies), where it is essential for the colon to be completely free of accumulated waste. At home, cleansing can be achieved through enemas, laxatives, or herbal supplements (such as senna) to combat constipation, bloating, and other digestive issues.
Colon cleansing involves introducing a tube into the rectum, through which a large volume of water enters the colon. The water helps flush out accumulated waste particles. The amount of water used in the cleansing process varies depending on the method; for instance, hydrotherapy sessions can involve up to 30 liters of water in a single session!
Benefits of Colon Cleansing
Historical records indicate that colon cleansing was practiced in Ancient Greece. However, the American Journal of Gastroenterology asserts that the benefits of this procedure have not been sufficiently proven through reliable studies involving volunteers. Nevertheless, millions of people have experienced relief from colon cleansing, and when done correctly, it poses no health risks to the patient.
If laxatives yield no results, colon irrigation can help restore regular bowel movements and alleviate unpleasant symptoms.
Research indicates that regular bowel movements are necessary to expel bacteria, heavy metals, and excess fatty acids from the body. Colon cleansing also positively affects the nervous system, helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and fatigue.
Yes, your stool affects your mood! This is because nerve endings in the colon “communicate” with the brain and influence signals that travel throughout the body via the central nervous system.
In some cases, enemas aid in better nutrient absorption. For example, coffee enemas help deliver caffeine and antioxidants to the liver through hemorrhoidal veins. Together, they promote blood vessel dilation, improved blood circulation, relaxation of smooth muscles, and increased production of bile, necessary for proper digestion and excretion.
Different Methods of Colon Cleansing
The colon cleansing procedure can take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the method. Some people respond fairly quickly, experiencing relief from symptoms, but it’s important to remember that the procedure will be especially effective with regular execution. Initially, retaining a large amount of liquid in the body might be challenging, but it gets easier with time.
To choose the appropriate colon cleansing procedure for you, you need to understand their implementation and impact on the digestive system. Firstly, water is not the only substance used for colon cleansing. Various salt formulas, herbs, or acidic solutions are also employed.
Below, we will discuss the methods of colon cleansing in a bit more detail:
This procedure has been in practice for over 100 years and is typically performed under the supervision of a specialist. Hydrotherapy involves using a considerable amount of liquid (approximately 12 enemas). It is believed that water itself possesses healing properties, and in combination with substances such as coffee or salt, it enriches the body with various beneficial compounds, antioxidants, and trace elements.
Among all methods of colon cleansing, this procedure is considered the most effective as it covers the entire large intestine. The downside is that it is usually performed outside the home and takes around 30-60 minutes.
Hydrotherapy and Enemas
Compared to hydrotherapy, enemas can be self-administered at home. This method is attractive to those who prefer not to consult a specialist for such a delicate issue. It is an inexpensive procedure, and all the necessary items can be purchased at any pharmacy. Using an enema, liquid (usually water) is introduced into the large intestine, stimulating the expulsion of waste.
Enemas are gentler compared to hydrotherapy and only affect specific areas of the large intestine, typically the descending colon. Most enemas are done with water, but you can also use a saline solution, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and even coffee. To administer an enema, you insert a tapered nozzle into the large intestine, initiate the flow of liquid, controlling its speed, and then wait until you feel the urge to use the bathroom. This can happen anywhere from a few minutes to 1-2 hours.
Is Colon Cleansing Safe?
In the United Kingdom, where approximately 5,600 colon cleansing procedures are performed every month, no cases of serious adverse reactions have been reported. Stimulating the removal of waste from the colon with water is generally safe, but not for everyone.
During pregnancy, acute hemorrhoids, kidney diseases, or dehydration, colon irrigation can cause weakness, dizziness, cramps, abdominal bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Performing the procedure too frequently can lead to electrolyte imbalance or increase the risk of rectal tears and bleeding. It is also crucial to use sterile instruments and equipment to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination and infections.
We recommend starting enemas no more than once a week. If you plan to perform the procedure more frequently, it’s better to discuss it with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. Consult a doctor if you have been diagnosed with any form of IBD, such as Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, or ulcerative colitis.
We advise taking probiotics after cleansing to restore a healthy gut flora. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and consume foods rich in electrolytes, such as vegetables and fruits. This helps prevent damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart, which can occur due to a lack of water, salt, or electrolytes (such as magnesium or potassium) in the body.
Regarding laxatives and herbs, some are riskier than others. Try natural laxatives, such as supplements containing aloe vera, collagen, magnesium, psyllium husk, and triphala. These gentle laxatives nourish the digestive tract and help normalize bowel movements. Monitor your body’s response to these supplements and consult a doctor if you experience signs of dehydration, such as muscle weakness, dizziness, or excessive thirst.
How to Cleanse the Colon Properly
First and foremost, it’s important to know that the best way to eliminate toxins and cleanse the colon is to give up harmful products in favor of more nutritious and healthy options. Processed foods, fast food, snacks, and artificial ingredients (high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, dangerous food colorings, dressings, or preservatives) are hard to digest and increase the risk of inflammation in the intestines. Pay attention to the following foods that support gastrointestinal health:
- Fermented products containing probiotics (yogurt, pickled vegetables, kefir, kombucha)
- High-fiber foods (seeds, leafy greens, and other fresh vegetables)
- Fresh fruits (especially berries and pears, which contain pectin)
- Bone broth
- Healthy fats (coconut and avocado oil, rich in electrolytes and fiber, as well as extra virgin olive oil)
- Vegetable soups, smoothies, and salads containing plenty of fiber and water are easily digestible.
When performing hydrotherapy:
Hydrotherapy should be conducted under the supervision of a qualified specialist. It is essential to follow instructions and guidelines carefully and ensure all equipment is completely sterile. Hydrotherapy is not recommended for pregnant women, children, and individuals with kidney problems or acute hemorrhoids.
What to expect from the procedure? This type of colon cleansing should not cause discomfort or pain. To facilitate the insertion of the tube, the doctor will likely use lubrication. During the introduction of the liquid, you may feel slight pressure, which will persist for several hours.
Administering an Enema:
To administer an enema (it could be a coffee enema, an enema with apple cider vinegar, or another liquid), you need to purchase a special kit consisting of a tube for insertion and a fluid bag. The tube is attached to a clamp that controls the release of the liquid from the bag. Various kits are available in pharmacies, differing in quality and price.
If you plan to perform enemas regularly, you can invest in a reusable kit. There are also kits with a special bucket, which can be much more convenient as they don’t need to be hung on a hook. Many people find buckets easier to clean, although they are significantly more expensive.
Before administering the enema, disinfect the materials and follow the instructions below:
- Prepare the liquid: It could be coffee, a prepared solution, or filtered water. Most specialists strongly recommend using filtered water as it may pose a lower health risk compared to tap water, which contains chemical compounds and trace elements. If you’re using warm liquid, like coffee, let the mixture cool down to slightly above room temperature.
- Choose a comfortable place: Find a place where you can be alone for about 15 minutes. Typically, this would be a bathroom. Have extra towels and soap on hand in case you need them.
- Hang the bag above eye level: Hang the bag so that gravity pushes the liquid through the tube. Pour the liquid into the bag and keep the tube closed.
- Position the valve comfortably: Position the valve so that you can easily stop and start the flow of liquid. Apply lubricant, such as coconut oil, to the tip of the tube. Lie on your right side in a fetal position and insert the tube into the rectum about 2-3 cm.
- Start the flow: Use the valve to start the flow of liquid. After introducing the liquid, get into a comfortable position and hold the liquid in the intestines. Visit the toilet after 15-30 minutes.
The main goal of colon cleansing, whether through hydrotherapy or enemas, is to assist the gastrointestinal tract and eliminate substances hindering its normal function. If you do not have a bowel movement at least once a day, colon cleansing might be beneficial. It is widely known that many health problems are caused by poor intestinal function. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, spasms, chronic fatigue, constipation, lethargy, headaches, and allergic reactions can result from the retention of toxins in the body.
There are numerous methods of colon cleansing, including enemas, hydrotherapy, saltwater flushes, and regular enemas. Enemas can be self-administered at home, but in some cases, colon cleansing may require the expertise of a specialist. Among all methods of cleansing the colon, hydrotherapy is considered the most effective as it covers the entire colon.
Using an enema involves introducing liquid (usually water) into the colon, which stimulates the elimination of waste. Compared to hydrotherapy, enemas are milder and only affect specific areas of the colon, usually the descending colon. The essence of hydrotherapy lies in the healing properties of water itself, and in combination with other substances such as coffee and salt, it provides the body with various nutrients, including antioxidants and trace elements.